This author is not an authority on the subject. Do not waste your time!!


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Showing 1-16 of 16 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 12, 2007 7:47:37 PM PDT
Justin says:
I am the publisher of several books about prison and prison policy, and I really regret to say that this author is not a source of fair minded research and opinions. There are indeed too many women in prison, but there are much better books out on the subject than this one. I have actually spoken to this author and frankly, she sounds as if she is just trying to make a buck or two. (Her other work on Amazon is about logging trees in Finland!!!) This book is not worth the paper it is printed on.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2007 6:01:18 AM PDT
Robert is uniformed about Silja's experience.
From her webpage (http://www.well.com/~sisu/list.html):
First Place--Social Issues Reporting, "Until the End of Their Days," about Three Strikes prisoners in Washington State. ColorsNW Magazine. Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Western Washington competition, 2004.

Two PASS Awards 2006 from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. Awarded March 2007 for "Stunning Revelations: The untold story of Taser-related deaths"; and for "No Room in Prison? Ship Em Off: Prisoners have become unwitting pawns in a lowest-bidder-gets-the convict shuffle game, both for In These Times magazine.

* Independent journalist and essayist with particular focus on prisons and the criminal justice system. Emphasis on communities of color, immigrants, women and gender, racism and discrimination, the drug war, health and addiction, environment, culture, HIV and HCV epidemics, class and bpoverty, 1996-present.
* Columnist, Women, Media, Criminal Justice & Prisons, as a part of the Women in Media and News site.
*
* Monthly Columnist/Community and Social Justice, Seattle Conscious Choice (formerly the Evergreen Monthly), February 2005-March 2006.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2007 6:03:59 AM PDT
Robert is uniformed about Silja's experience.
From her webpage (http://www.well.com/~sisu/list.html):
First Place--Social Issues Reporting, "Until the End of Their Days," about Three Strikes prisoners in Washington State. ColorsNW Magazine. Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Western Washington competition, 2004.

Two PASS Awards 2006 from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. Awarded March 2007 for "Stunning Revelations: The untold story of Taser-related deaths"; and for "No Room in Prison? Ship Em Off: Prisoners have become unwitting pawns in a lowest-bidder-gets-the convict shuffle game, both for In These Times magazine.

* Independent journalist and essayist with particular focus on prisons and the criminal justice system. Emphasis on communities of color, immigrants, women and gender, racism and discrimination, the drug war, health and addiction, environment, culture, HIV and HCV epidemics, class and bpoverty, 1996-present.
* Columnist, Women, Media, Criminal Justice & Prisons, as a part of the Women in Media and News site.
*
* Monthly Columnist/Community and Social Justice, Seattle Conscious Choice (formerly the Evergreen Monthly), February 2005-March 2006.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2007 8:41:57 PM PDT
Justin says:
She may have some experience but she has the facts wrong.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2007 8:56:56 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2007 4:58:04 PM PST
S. Morris says:
Now that the book is published and I have read it, I can state that it is meticulously researched and has a remarkable combination of facts, interview accounts, testimonials, and individual prisoner stories. This book is very compelling, well balanced, and clearly should be read by all interested in criminology or women's studies.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 12, 2007 1:29:08 AM PDT
Justin says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2007 9:56:32 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Nov 6, 2007 4:58:17 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2007 11:07:05 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 20, 2007 11:07:35 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2007 11:11:56 AM PDT
Justin says:
I have talked to the author about these facts genius. Now who is talking about things that they don't know about????

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2007 8:44:20 AM PDT
Silja Talvi says:
I'm sorry, but who are you? How is it that you claim to know me?

The article you cite about Finland is just one that pops up on this site, and is just one of nearly a thousand that I've written. My work has appeared in numerous book anthologies--several on this very subject. I've devoted a decade to the subject of criminal justice and prison issues. For more, please feel free to visit: http://www.well.com/user/sisu.

Otherwise, if you've got some kind of a strange axe to grind, then please at least make it known which "facts" you are alleging I've gotten wrong in this book and where, if anywhere, we've ever met and discussed anything. If you're trying to discredit the years worth of research that went into this book, you'd better come up with something better than "false statistical claims."

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2007 9:19:26 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 4, 2007 9:22:42 AM PDT
Justin says:
You can easily see that you and I have conferred back and forth on this topic here on Amazon!! You left a discussion post on a book that we published claiming erroneous statistics. Remember? I never claimed to know you per se, just that we had conferred on this topic. The same way you challenged our position on this issue (check your discussion post left on the book "WHY ARE SO MANY BLACK MEN IN PRISON?" Incidently, have you even read this book? Do you know the context and overall position taken by this author in this book which explains his distrust of certain statistical sources? Or did you just decide to leave a post that reflects poorly on a book that you haven't even read?)and you even said that our facts were "misleading" because they differ from what you choose to believe is true. That was wrong. So if you look through my posts left on your book's page, you will see that I found a statistical claim from a BJS person that at least on its face contradicts your claims on women going to prison at a faster pace than men. Do you see my point? But no harm meant. I will erase mine if you will erase yours. In all fairness, they both are wrong.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2007 10:11:16 AM PDT
Paul Wright says:
Silja Talvi is a well respected journalist in the field of criminal justice reporting and has extensive experience and knowledge. I am the editor of Prison Legal News, www.prisonlegalnews.org which is the foremost publication covering detention facilities around the world and we have published quite a few of Ms. Talvi's articles. They are of the highest quality. Would that all journalists covering criminal justice were so good.

Paul Wright
Editor, Prison Legal News

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2007 10:58:54 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 4, 2007 11:04:41 AM PDT
Silja Talvi says:
Sir, I do remember the discussion, but we don't know each other, and you don't know my work. I do remember contesting a statistic, and then having my character rather immediately attacked in such a manner that I was genuinely dismayed at the ferocity of the anger displayed.

As I recall, I straightforwardly asked for an end to the "flaming," and simply moved on. In all honesty I, like most people, dislike slanderous attacks on my character. I certainly didn't enjoy unwarranted attacks on my profession as a journalist without some kind of evidence to back it up.

To move from that unpleasantry to this kind of attack to one on my book--without having read it--is just unfair and unwarranted.

Women *are* going to prison at a faster rate than men--in terms of percentage increase by year and over the course of the last 30 years the rate has grown 757%, nearly double the rate of men. This isn't contested by anyone that I know of, since it's all there in the official stats, and recently parsed by the Women's Prison Association in a remarkable report, Hard Hit: http://www.wpaonline.org/institute/hardhit/index.htm. (This is not a BJS report, if the objection of yours is such.)

Numerically, then, there are far, far more men than women in prison; women represent roughly 7% of people in prison, and about 12-13% of people in jail. Women of color, as is the case with men, are disproportionately represented to an extreme extent.

In response to your question, I did, actually, read the book of which you speak and found it very interesting. I never attacked the fundamental premise of that book, the author, and certainly not the publisher--which you didn't identify yourself as being. I thought that some of the stats were unnecessarily exaggerated, but I understand that the author arrives at his own conclusions. I'm something of a prison geek--and my peers use this term affectionately--b/c I am passionate about this subject. I've visited nearly 20 men's and women's prisons and jails coast to coast, writing on the disproportionate incarceration of Black men and women specifically, people of color generally, the poor, the mentally ill ... so I raised an issue of accuracy--both in terms of what I've witnessed and what the stats show. But this wasn't a recommendation for people to NOT buy the book, or that the book wasn't "worth of the paper that they're printed on."

How this brief exchange about a book ended up with an attack on a not-yet-published book you've never read is beyond me. I hope, as was the case before, that this can just end right here.

If you read my book and actually find factual errors, please let me know! It's methodically researched and repeatedly fact-checked, and proofed several times over, to boot, as any journalistic book should be. To be absolutely clear, I'm *always* open to being corrected, with evidence of such. In fact, that's what every non-fiction author should be more than willing to engage in.

But I don't participate in flaming, and I find it truly disheartening that free speech takes this kind of FOX News-style turn so quickly these days. What's the point of it all?

--Silja

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2007 11:37:35 AM PDT
Justin says:
Understood, but the fact remains that its okay to disagree, but to leave a post on a new book's page that reflects negatively DOES affect sales and opinions of the book. Period. It may discourage those that might otherwise read the book and learn about the subject. That is my only real contention. Any statistic can be challenged. Right now Lou Dobbs is saying that there are 20 million illegal aliens in America, but the government says 12 million. Iraqis say that America has killed hundreds of thousands of its citizens, America says drastically fewer. Our overall research over the years has shown us clearly that statistics will almost always prove off the mark, sometimes drastically, when there are dozens of variables involved that change daily. Especially when actual heads are not counted and methodology and sophisticated guesswork is used. Even the American census is drastically off the mark for this same reason. So my point: There was never any gainful reason for you and I to ever undertake this issue. You disagree with some statistics in our book, Ok!!! But do not say that we are "misleading" anyone for that reason. That is no big difference from what I said about your book in my post, minus the fact that your book hasn't been put out yet. Would it have been better for me to have read it and then put up the same post? It would have been no different effectively speaking, as a matter of fact it would look worse. So please remove your unfair post and I will do the same.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2007 11:56:09 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 7, 2007 3:49:51 PM PDT
Silja Talvi says:
Ok, thank you for making clear what seemed obvious from the beginning.

You're admitting you *haven't* read my book, and that you posted your comments as a method of overt retaliation for the fact that I disagreed with some of the stats posited by the book which you ostensibly published, and perhaps written? I'm not clear on the latter, but I know that you took all this incredibly personally. It simply wasn't necessary. I wasn't slamming the book, for God's sake.

The threat that you've made clear here is that if I don't remove my posts--which actually backed the premise of the book, but disagreed with some of the calculations--that you'll continue to attack me. If that's your only conceivable course of action, then I can only say that I think it's unfortunate. I wasn't setting out to "gain" anything in the first place!

Please note that by drawing this out, you're actually pointing more far attention to something I wrote about my assessment of some of the calculations--far more attention than the comments would have ever received otherwise! (Readers who are interested in seeing what I wrote can follow the link from the poster's name to the book in question.)

You'll notice that after your attacks on my character and ability to comment on the stats in question, I simply stopped posting to the book page. And so, I'll stop discussing this again, unless you truly do want to ask me about something in a book that you've actually read.

As for "illegal aliens," I'd just ask you to consider the inherent and intentional power of that phrase.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2007 10:56:14 PM PDT
Paul Wright says:
Which books have you published?
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Participants:  6
Total posts:  16
Initial post:  Jun 12, 2007
Latest post:  Oct 4, 2007

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Women Behind Bars: The Crisis of Women in the U.S. Prison System
Women Behind Bars: The Crisis of Women in the U.S. Prison System by Silja J. A. Talvi (Paperback - November 2, 2007)
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